By Kathryn Flippin, Life Editor
WordPress.com claims to currently host an estimated 72,708,010 blogs. Of those blogs, 500,000 posts appear on an average day with 400,000 comments following. WordPress is not the only blog host site, but its high numbers show the popularity of blogging in today’s culture.
Whether it is for academic, social or professional purposes, each person has a specific intention when posting.
Holly Harris, sophomore nursing major, said her view of blogging comes from a quote by a well-known graphic designer, Trent Walton.
Walton summed up blogging when he said, “There’s something sacred about reading a blog post on someone else’s site. It’s like visiting a friend’s house for a quick meal ’round the breakfast table. It’s personal — you’re in their space, and the environment is uniquely suited for idea exchange and uninterrupted conversation. In many ways, we should be treating our blogs like our breakfast tables. Be welcoming and gracious when you host, and kind and respectful when visiting.”
Many believe the intimate environment Walton is talking about stems from the idea that blogs open free expression.
“It is easy to express your opinions through a blog. There is something frank about putting your content out there for others to see,” said Haaken Magnuson, freshman biology major, who shares a blog with Anika Strand, junior social work major.
Strand, who also writes a weekly personal blog, said she thinks writing a blog is a therapeutic process that helps one analyze aspects of life.
“I am better at writing things out rather than getting up and shouting my views at people,” Strand said. “My blog allows me to share what I am thinking without the pressure of a hundred eye balls staring at me.”
Strand also said the food blog, “Hannika Eats,” allows them to share ideas with others.
“We love finding recipes through other blogs and then recreating them for our friends and family,” Magnuson said.
Kathryn Buncik, sophomore art major, said she also believes blogs exist to help share ideas.
“Anyone who is regularly creating — it is good for them to share that with other people,” Buncik said.
Buncik encouraged sharing through a blog not only because it will create feedback and growth as an artist but also will build opportunities to bounce ideas off other people.
Courtney Clarke, special events/visit coordinator at Union, said she loves the community aspect of blogging.
Clarke and her husband, Josh, director of alumni relations, disclosed their decision to adopt a child from Russia through her blog, “The Lives of Dreamers.” Since then, Clarke has found several other blogs that have a similar focus.
“It is encouraging to see other families’ stories as they go through the process as well,” Clarke said. “Being able to capture these moments allows not only friends and family from across the world to experience it, but also for people who are maybe just two steps behind you to feel support.”
While many see the blogging community as a vessel for inspiration and support, Jordan Wilson, junior accounting major, said he thinks most people use blogs as a “personal boost.”
“The main reason most people use social media is so that people will see what you post and respond to it. Blog posts are usually long, and not very many people follow or comment,” Wilson said. “I do not see the point in putting something out there for that purpose.”
Clarke and Buncik disagree with Wilson, but share a similar view regarding how blogs help others understand more than just a story.
“With blogs there is more of a niche audience, so the people that are reading are the ones that care,” Clarke said.